Not every app of the week is always new–sometimes even updates to apps are deserving enough for some fresh attention. This week there are a few updates to old goodies in the Windows Phone world, Android users can choose to take a step back in time to the days of analog video recording, and iOS has a newbie that lets you easily make comic book pages.
If you’re a sucker for nostalgia, then VHS Camera Recorder is worth taking for a spin. The app lets users shoot video and photos with filters applied that make the final product look as if it were shot with a VHS Camcorder. Keep in mind that the quality of the media does tend to look lower after being shot with the VHS Camera Recorder app, but that shouldn’t be a huge surprise considering how terrible and cloudy true VHS-shot videos looked. The app also does something else that that made me laugh—it includes its own hiss track and occasionally you’ll even see a damaged tape grey streak. [$.99]
This app is technically in beta right now, so to use it you’ll have to sign up to be a tester. If you do sign up you’re going to have access to Khan Academy, which is kind of similar to a Lynda tutorial experience except not all the lessons are videos (though the app does give you access to more than 10,000 videos). Topics include math, science, economics, music composition and more. Have a test like the SAT, GMAT, or MCAT coming up? There are lessons for those too. If you’re still not convinced, it’s worth noting that the app is also backed by Google and The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. [Free/beta]
This app might be geared at kids, but it was so much fun to use as an adult that it’s definitely worth a download. Seedling Comic Studio lets you create comic pages using the photos in your library and the photos you take within the app. The templates are laid out with multiple spaces so making a progression is easy. Stickers are available within the app that range from a superhero mask to laser beams to speech bubbles and even props. Part of the reason this app was fun wasn’t just because I was making comic book pages with a wide selection of options, it was because it was so easy to use. Something as simple as resizing or titling could be done without having to think too hard about it—and that really made this app a win. [Free]
This app has already been popular for iPad users, and now it’s also being offered for the iPhone. Flow is an unofficial app for Instagram that’s all about having a clean and easy way to just flick through photos—without ads—and even zoom into posted images for a closer look. And honestly, it’s really easy to get carried away. Unfortunately you can’t post through Flow, but that’s not actually the app’s fault—Instagram doesn’t allow third-party apps to post—and that’s also not really the point of the app. [Free]
Slack, the group collaboration and messaging hub, isn’t necessarily new to Windows Phone. The app is still in beta, but it got a much needed update that now lets users upload files. If you’re already a Slack user you know how big a deal that is. There’s still a pretty decently-sized list of to do’s that haven’t been crossed off the developer’s list, but the app is definitely promising. [Free/beta]
The desktop version of VLC plays every file type you can think of, and this week the Windows Phone version got a little closer to being able to claim the same thing. Now the VLC app plays .m4a files, and since it supports both Windows 8 and Windows 10, the UI also got a facelift of sorts. There’s a new mini player look and a widget, as well as more control features for the user (like being able to delay video, audio and subtitles). [Free]